Councilmembers Andrews, Trachtenberg To Testify on County Campaign Financing
Montgomery County State Delegation to Hold Public Hearings on Thursday, Dec. 13, on Bills of Local Interest
ROCKVILLE, Md., December 12, 2007—Montgomery County Councilmembers Phil Andrews and Duchy Trachtenberg will be among those testifying on Thursday, Dec. 13, when the Montgomery County State Delegation holds public hearings on bills of Montgomery County interest that will be considered during the 2008 Maryland General Assembly session that begins in January.
The state delegation will hold public hearings on 13 bills starting at 7 p.m. in the Third Floor Hearing Room of the Montgomery County Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Avenue in Rockville. More information about the bills is available at www.montgomerycountydelegation.com
Among the bills to be addressed is one that would prohibit establishment of wireless telecommunications towers on certain public school property in Montgomery County (Bill MC 811-08). Another bill (MC 815-08) pertains to when a rental housing emergency could be declared to prohibit a rental facility from being converted to condominiums. Several bills refer to liquor-related sales and licenses.
Councilmembers Andrews and Trachtenberg plan to testify on Bill MC 803-08, which is sponsored by Delegate Susan Lee. The bill would enable Montgomery County to create a system that would provide public financing of elections for county executive and the nine County Council positions.
"In recent years, the cost of running for County offices has skyrocketed,” said Councilmember Andrews. “Last year, for example, a candidate for County Executive spent more than $2 million. That's why it's crucial that the General Assembly give the County the authority to establish a system of public financing for county elections. If implemented by the County Council, a public financing system would encourage candidates to seek small individual contributions, reduce the excessive influence of interest groups and keep campaign spending to a reasonable level for those candidates who choose to take part."
Councilmember Trachtenberg said that a bill such as this one would help women better financially compete for public offices.
“There is no denying that in the current political system, women face enormous challenges in funding aggressive and competitive campaigns and securing ultimate election,” Councilmember Trachtenberg intends to tell the state delegation. “The presence of women in elected office does not reflect that women represent 53 percent of the voting population and over 50 percent of the total population. In 2007, less than 20 percent of state legislators are women. … ‘Clean Money’ legislation, which provides public campaign financing, enables women with community support, but ordinary means, to run for office and mount serious campaigns, despite the disproportionate number of male incumbent elected officials.”